Changed Lives

Kevin’s Story
“I Missed Being at Crossroads”

Nobody likes to be awakened in the middle of the night. Especially when it’s Christmas Day.

But that’s just what happened to 82 residents at our Hastings location. A pipe had burst, spilling water on our main electrical panel, shutting off all power. Local officials deemed the building unsafe, so everyone had to evacuate — immediately.

Local churches stepped in by setting up emergency shelters, and some of our residents had to travel up to 100 miles for shelter.

Kevin was one of them. He slept on a mattress on a church’s gym floor … for over a month. It took about five weeks to repair the electrical and plumbing damage at our Hastings facility.

“I missed being at Crossroads,” says Kevin, 56. “I was so glad to get back.”

And no wonder. Thanks to your support, Kevin, who had battled alcohol and depression for years, had found a fresh start and renewed hope at Crossroads.

“I’ve had a lot of hardship,” he says. “But Crossroads has told me to never give up, and I always keep those words in the back of my mind.

“Without Crossroads, I’d be homeless. I’m very happy here.”

Through your generous gift, you never give up on our neighbors in need. Thank you!

Teresa’s Story
“They Give People Hope”

Teresa believes her on-and-off struggles with alcohol are over, thanks to Crossroads Mission Avenue.

“Drinking, then not drinking, relapse after relapse,” she says. “But when you’re someplace where people care about you, it’s all good.”

That “someplace” is our Kearney shelter. But Teresa’s from Lexington, where we purchased property and opened a thrift store last fall. Work is underway to open a Lexington shelter in 2024, but that wasn’t soon enough for Teresa.

So she traveled the 35 miles to Kearney where her son had received help — and recommended Crossroads to her. Teresa, 57, has struggled with multiple health issues, including a brain aneurysm in 2021 that left her blind in one eye, and, more recently, back problems that resulted in surgery this spring.

She hasn’t been able to work in a couple years because of those struggles, and Crossroads is helping her get disability benefits.

Teresa hopes to live independently again someday, but she’s in no hurry to leave.

“Being in a shelter, I never dreamed it could be so good,” she says. “It wasn’t something I envisioned for my life. But Crossroads is exactly what I needed. It’s like a big family here. They give people hope.”

Thank you for helping your neighbors like Teresa find a place that feels like family!

Patrick’s Story
“I haven’t had a drink since I walked through that front door”

Patrick was married at a young age, before joining the Navy. It was while he was on active duty that alcoholism began to creep into his life. Then, an unthinkable tragedy struck. Patrick’s wife died in a car accident. Drinking then took over his life; the pain of the loss was more than he could bear.

After the Navy, he joined the civil service, but alcoholism continued to take a toll on him. Ultimately, he quit his job and found himself homeless. That’s when he turned to Crossroads, where he received food and shelter, as well as the compassion and emotional support he needed to start again. “I haven’t had a drink since I walked through that front door,” he says. “They all gave me the support I needed and that just really stuck with me.”

Annie & Pete’s Story
“We were embarrassed and upset,” Annie remembers. “Just being in that situation, it was all too much for us.”

Annie and her husband, Pete, are both hardworking people who had steady jobs. But Pete suffers from a psychiatric disorder, which was misdiagnosed for years, costing him his job. Annie did everything she could to support him, and care for their two children, but she also lost her job in the process.

Soon, they were evicted and forced to live in their car. “We were embarrassed and upset,” Annie remembers. “Just being in that situation, it was all too much for us.”

Thankfully, people like Annie can walk through the doors at Crossroads Mission Avenue and find hope and renewal. In addition to receiving a warm meal and safe shelter, Annie and her family received the empathy, emotional support and welcoming community they needed to recover and start over.

Today, Pete is finally on the right medications and managing his condition much better than before. And Annie has started attending Bible studies.

“Crossroads helps a lot of people,” she says. “All I can think of now is how I can give back to Crossroads, enabling them to help more people the way they helped us.”

Christina’s Story
After the Fire

It was a mother’s worst nightmare. Christina, a single mom, and her 11-year-old son had just pulled up in front of their home, only to find it ablaze. Were her other kids stuck inside?

She tried to open the front door, but was pushed back by the blast. She lay down on the porch and started screaming their names, fearing the worst.

Fortunately, they showed up a few minutes later, just as the fire department arrived. The whole family watched helplessly as their house burned down. They were grateful to be alive, but they lost everything in the fire … including their three English bulldogs.

Suddenly homeless, Christina’s family was invited to move into the Crossroads transitional housing apartments.

“It was overwhelming to show up there with nothing to our names,” Christina says. “But the staff was wonderful, and it was great for us to be together.”

The family stayed with Crossroads for six weeks before moving into their own place.

“I don’t know what we would’ve done without Crossroads,” Christina says. “It was nice to have a place where we could be safe and have such a good support system.”

Your generous gift makes you part of that support system for families in need!

Scott’s Story
He just needed a Safe Place

Scott’s 65 years haven’t been easy. His struggles with mental illness and chronic homelessness have taken their toll.

“My bones are aching,” he says. “I’ve had a very rugged life.”

Fortunately, he found his way to Crossroads where, for almost two years now, he’s been able to give those bones — and his heart and soul — a rest.

“I came here for security,” says Scott. “Sleeping outside is rough, and it can get dangerous.”

Jake, one of our program directors, says it’s a blessing to serve Scott … and that the Crossroads team is blessed in return.

“We’re just the Good Samaritan in his life,” Jake says. “Scott was alone and it seemed like nobody was helping him. So we’re taking care of him and making sure he’s safe and secure, meeting his essential needs.

“He’s comfortable here, and he’s just a nice guy. He’s just part of our family.”

Your heartfelt support makes you part of an “extended family” to neighbors in need!

Sonny’s Story
“I don’t know where I would be today without the help of Crossroads Mission Avenue. All the help they gave me, everything they taught me, it allowed me a fresh start in life.”

Sonny had a dark past. The downhill spiral started when he was 12. He began walking away from being a “pretty good boy,” drinking and smoking cigarettes. Freshman year of high school brought many changes to Sonny’s life; his family moved, his brother graduated and moved away, and Sonny felt alone. His new friends were involved with drugs, and by Sonny’s junior year in high school he was a heavy user himself. Then Sonny was taught to use a needle, and for the next 7 years his life revolved around sticking a needle in his arm. Drugs became the only thing he wanted. He could no longer keep a job, was sleeping in his car, closets and grain bins, and started stealing. He was repeatedly arrested and eventually ended up in prison for 2 1/2 years.

Sonny started hearing about God’s love from a jailer, and he spent his time in jail and prison learning all he could about God. That jailer heard a radio ad about Crossroads Mission Avenue, and encouraged him to call when the time came for him to leave. After 2 1/2 years in prison, Sonny came to Crossroads Mission Avenue.

Sonny felt loved and cared for at Crossroads Mission Avenue. “We started every day with devotions, and it was so encouraging and uplifting to start every day that way – in praise to God. Through classes we learned how to take care of ourselves, eat well, live on a budget, interview for jobs, save money, and slowly ease back into the community – how to restart life. I needed that help. It prepared me for a better life.”

Since leaving Crossroads Mission Avenue he attended college and obtained his ASE-certification to be an auto technician, married the woman of his dreams and purchased a home. Sonny is now a youth pastor, an auto mechanic, husband to his wife Kristen and father to their son Josiah and daughter Taylor.

“I don’t know where I would be today without the help of Crossroads Mission Avenue. All the help they gave me, everything they taught me, it allowed me a fresh start in life.”

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Paul’s Story
First there was a family intervention. Then a divine intervention.

When God Put His Foot Down

Thank God — literally — for a broken foot. Because if it weren’t for that broken foot, Paul would’ve walked away from Crossroads — and likely his only chance to live — at his first opportunity.

Paul started drinking at age 16 and pretty much never quit for the next 32 years. His alcoholism destroyed his marriage and his family. Still, they loved him enough to try to get him the help he needed.

The family intervention ended when they brought Paul to Crossroads one night. Paul was so drunk at the time that he doesn’t even remember it. And while intoxicated, he had broken his foot so badly that he couldn’t put any weight on it.

Crossroads doesn’t admit clients while they are under the influence, so they took him to the hospital to detox and to get his foot fixed. After detoxing and reconstructive surgery, the hospital brought Paul back to Crossroads about a week later. He hated it.

“I was very reluctant,” he says. “If I would’ve been able to walk out, I would have.” But God had put His foot down, and as a result, Paul couldn’t. He’d already had the family intervention. And now, looking back, Paul believes his broken foot was a form of divine intervention.

“I had stopped caring anymore about anything,” Paul says. “I wasn’t suicidal, but I didn’t care if I woke up in the morning, either. I didn’t realize how deep into drinking I was until I got to Crossroads. I don’t know how I functioned. It’s a mystery. But what I do know is that, by the grace of God, I landed here.”

For so long, Paul only knew a life of drinking. He’d forgotten what sobriety could look and feel like. And he likes it. “Drinking just seemed so normal to me,” he says. “But it doesn’t even sound fun right now. That’s a miracle in and of itself. Not long ago, I couldn’t have fathomed the thought of getting up for my morning shower without first taking a big swig.”

When he’s done with the program at Crossroads, Paul wants to live independently, though he’s not sure what he’d like to pursue. But he is convinced God has something in mind. In the meantime, he’ll just walk by faith … now that he can walk again.

Kairy’s Story
“Now I’m Found”

Kairy comes from a loving Christian home, and he’s not sure what led him down the path of alcohol addiction. Maybe it was the racism he experienced growing up in Georgia. Maybe it was the stresses of life when he moved out.

Whatever triggered it, Kairy dove into the deep end, battling the bottle and bouts of homelessness. He got in trouble with the law and did some time in jail.

When on probation, the court ordered him to move to a transitional living facility. Kairy chose Crossroads. It might’ve been the best decision of his life.

Kairy got sober, got counseling, got a good job, got all the help he needed.

“They’re good people,” Kairy says of the Crossroads staff. “They stand on good things. They helped me with my mental state, with coming back into society.”

Writing poetry has also helped. Kairy, who goes by the pseudonym Kûpid for his rap-like rhymes, saying his writing keeps him calm and focused. Here’s just a snippet of his work:

I once was lost but now I’m found
But what I lost is nowhere around
My heartbeat I heard, but is it how I sound?
Eyes start to drown as they gaze upon love’s crown …
What I’m trying to say is every blessing is a count

Kairy’s certainly counting his blessings … starting with supporters like you.

“I can only imagine where I would be without Crossroads,” he says. “This is a good place. They always give you a helping hand.”

When you give someone a helping hand, it’s an extension of your compassion. Thank you!

Chance’s Story
Second Chance

Chance didn’t have much of a chance, considering his background. He was estranged from his biological family. His adoptive family abused him, locking him in his room for a week at a time with no food or water. He ended up selling drugs to try to make ends meet.

Chance joined the Marines in an attempt to find a fresh start, but was medically discharged due to a bad heart. He tried another fresh start: He got a job and got engaged … only to have his fiancée steal all his money and run away.

“I got left in the cold,” Chance says. “I hit rock bottom.” That’s when his drinking and drug use worsened.

Chance felt suicidal. He drove around, aimlessly. He happened to be driving through Nebraska when he ran out of gas — right down the street from Crossroads. He spent the night there … and ended up staying for six months.

Chance finally got sober, got a job and got out on his own again — making the most of his second chance.

Your heartfelt generosity is giving struggling neighbors a second chance!